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Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

Entry for Strong's #2520 - καθήκω

Word Origin
from (2596) and (2240)}
Parts of Speech
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. to come down
  2. to come to, reach to
    1. it is becoming
    2. it is fit
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 1696 ‑ דָּבַר (daw‑bar');  1870 ‑ דֶּרֶךְ (deh'‑rek);  3117 ‑ יוֹם (yome);  4941 ‑ מִשְׁפָּט (mish‑pawt');  5656 ‑ עֲבוֹדָה (ab‑o‑daw', ab‑o‑daw');  
Frequency Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (2) NAS (2) HCS (2)
Acts 1
Romans 1
Acts 1
Romans 1
Acts 1
Romans 1
V-IAI-3S 1
V-IAI-3S 1
V-IAI-3S 1

Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Ion. κατήκω, (v. ἥκω)


1. come or go down, esp. to fight, A. Ch. 455 (lyr.).

2. come down to, reach to, ἐς θάλασσαν Hdt. 7.22, 130; ἐπὶ θάλ. Id. 2.32, 5.49, Th. 2.27; πρὸς τὸν Μηλιακὸν κόλπον Id. 3.96; κέρκος.. εἰς λεπτὸν καθήκουσα tapering away, Arist. HA 503a20: metaph., of descent, [ γένος ] εἰς αὐτὸν κ. Arr. An. 1.11.8.

3. come in due course to any one, καθῆκεν ἐς ἡμᾶς ὁ λόγος the turn of speaking came to us, Aeschin. 2.25; παρὰ τετάρτην ἡμέραν ἑκάστῃ σημαίᾳ καθήκειν τὴν λειτουργίαν Plb. 6.33.9, cf. PCair.Zen. 218.24 (iii B.C.); τῆς βολῆς καθηκούσης ἐς αὐτόν Plu. Alc. 2; ἐν τῷ ξυμποσίῳ.. ἐπὶ τὸν Θεσμόπολιν καθῆκε τὸ σκῶμμα Luc. Merc.Cond. 34.

4. of Time, ὁπότε καθήκοι ὁ Χρόνος X. HG 4.7.2; ὅταν οἱ Χρόνοι καθήκωσι Arist. HA 591a8; πρότερον ἢ τὴν ὥραν καθήκειν PRLaws 41.14 (iii B.C.); in part., τοῦ καθήκοντος Χρόνου the normal time, S. OT 75, D. 4.35, cf. Aeschin. 3.126; αἱ κ. ἡμέραι the regular, proper days, D. 59.80; ἐν τῇ κ. ὥρᾳ Arist. HA 568a17; ἐν τοῖς κ. καιροῖς ib. 573a30; of events, ἑορτῆς εἰς τὰς ἡμέρας ἐκείνας καθηκούσης as the festival fell on those days, Plu. Fab. 18, cf. Plb. 4.7.1; ἐκκλησίαν ποιῆσαι, ὅταν ἐκ τῶν νόμων καθήκῃ when it is legally due, D. 19.185; []ἡ κ. σύνοδος or ἐκκλησία, Plb. 4.14.1, 1.15.8, etc.


1. to be meet, fit, proper, τοῖς κ. [ νομίμοις ] Arist. Pol. 1325a13; τὰς ἐσθῆτας τὰς κ. ἀεὶ ταῖς περιθεταῖς suiting them, Plb. 3.78.3; ὁ καθήκων ἐκ τῶν νομίμων ἀριθμός a quorum, D.C. 39.30; also καθῆκόν ἐστιν αὐτὸν ἐπαινεῖσθαι Inscr.Prien. 114.32 (i B.C.).

2. impers., καθήκει μοι it belongs to me, is my duty, c. inf., οἷς καθήκει ἁθροίζεσθαι X. An. 1.9.7, cf. Cyr. 8.1.4, etc.: in later writers, impf. καθῆκε in pres. sense, it is meet, proper, οὐδ' ἅψασθαι καθῆκέ τινων Aristeas 149; οὐ κ. αὐτὸν ζῆν Acts 22:22 : freq. in part., τὰ καθήκοντα one's due or duty, X. Cyr. 1.2.5; τὰ κατήκοντα Σπαρτιήτῃσι Hdt. 7.104; ποιεῖν τὸ κ. Men. 575: esp. in Stoic philos. (from signf. 1.3 acc. to D.L. 7.108, cf. κατά B. 1.3), περὶ τοῦ κ., title of work by Zeno, cf. Stoic. 1.55, etc.: freq. in pl., ib.3.30, etc.; μὴ κ. un becoming, Romans 1:28.

3. τὰ κατήκοντα the present crisis, Hdt. 1.97, 5.49; τὰ κ. πρήγματα Id. 8.19, 40, 102. τὰ καθήκοντα the payments due, UPZ 42.15 (ii B.C.); τὴν -ουσαν ἡμῖν δίδοσθαι σύνταξιν τῶν δεόντων ib. 6.

4. Adv. pres. part. καθηκόντως fittingly, properly, Epicur. Ephesians 2 p.53U., OGI 90.28(Rosetta, ii B.C.), Plb. 5.9.6, v.l. in D.S. 1.93; πρός τι Porph. Abst. 1.43; consistently with duty, Stoic. 3.188, Plu. 2.448e; appropriately, c. dat., τῷ τόπῳ Aristeas 81; κ. ἔχειν πρός τι Id. 87.

III τὸ καθῆκον the precise proportion, Thphr. Lap. 46.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

καθήκω; (from Aeschylus, Sophocles down);

1. to come down.

2. to come to, reach to; impersonally, καθήκει, it is becoming, it is fit (cf. German zukommen), Ezekiel 21:27; οὐ καθῆκεν (Rev. καθῆκον), followed by the accusative with an infinitive, Acts 22:22 (Winers Grammar, 282 (265); Buttmann, 217 (187)); τά μή καθήκοντα, things not fitting, i. e. forbidden, shameful, Romans 1:28; 2 Macc. 6:4. Cf. ἀνήκω.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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All rights rserved. Used by permission.
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

καθ -ήκω ,

[in LXX: impers., Leviticus 5:16, Ezekiel 21:27 (32), al. (H4941); τὰ κ ., Exodus 5:13, al. (H1696), etc.;]

1. to come down, come to.

2. to be fit, proper: impers., c. acc et inf., Acts 22:22 (on the tense, v. Bl., § 63, 4); τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα , Romans 1:28.†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

There is no need to look to the influence of Stoic philosophy, in which τὰ καθήκοντα was a term. tech. (cf. Cic. de Off. i. 3), to explain the use of this word in Romans 1:28 (cf. Acts 22:22, 2 Maccabees 6:4) : the verb in the sense of ";is becoming,"; ";is fit,"; is abundantly attested from the Κοινή in both papyri and inscrr. See, e.g., P Lille I. 3.42 (after B.C. 241) τὸ καθῆκον ἡμῖν ὀψώνιον, P Fay 91.20 (A.D.99) where a woman named Thenetkoueis is engaged to serve for the season in an oil-press—ποιοῦσαν πάντα ὅσα καθήκει, ib. 107.9 (A.D. 133) ποήσασθαι τὴν καθήκουσαν ἀναζήτησιν, ";to hold the due inquiry,"; P Oxy I. 115.5 (ii/A.D.) (= Selections, p. 96) πάντα ὅσα ἦν καθήκοντα ἐποίησα, and from the inscrr. the honorific decree Priene 114.32 (after B.C. 84) καθῆκον δ᾽ ἐστὶν αὐτὸν. . . ἐπαινεῖσθαί τε καὶ τῆς καθη [κ ]ούσης ἀξιῶσαι τιμῆς (see Rouffiac Recherches, p. 40 f.). With Romans 1:28 we may also compare Menander Fragm. p. 175 ἐμὲ δὲ ποιεῖν τὸ καθῆκον οὐχ ὁ σὸς λόλος, | εὖ ἴσθ᾽ ἀκριβῶς, ὁ δ᾽ ἴδιος πείθει τρόπος.


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
καθήκει καθηκεν καθήκεν καθῆκεν καθήκον καθηκοντα καθήκοντα καθήκοντας καθήλωσον katheken kathêken kathēken kathē̂ken kathekonta kathēkonta kathḗkonta
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